Emerging technologies and infection models in cellular microbiology

Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 19;12(1):6764. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-26641-w.


The field of cellular microbiology, rooted in the co-evolution of microbes and their hosts, studies intracellular pathogens and their manipulation of host cell machinery. In this review, we highlight emerging technologies and infection models that recently promoted opportunities in cellular microbiology. We overview the explosion of microscopy techniques and how they reveal unprecedented detail at the host-pathogen interface. We discuss the incorporation of robotics and artificial intelligence to image-based screening modalities, biochemical mapping approaches, as well as dual RNA-sequencing techniques. Finally, we describe chips, organoids and animal models used to dissect biophysical and in vivo aspects of the infection process. As our knowledge of the infected cell improves, cellular microbiology holds great promise for development of anti-infective strategies with translational applications in human health.

Publication types

  • Review